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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Orphan Block Refugees and Processing Plums

At first, I was disappointed with paying $30 (including shipping) sight unseen for a quilter's lot of orphan blocks from an online auction. Just a few of them pictured above. 
After running the lot through bluing in lingerie bags, I think there might be a cute sampler quilt in there. There will be some rehabilitative work on almost all of these blocks, they are in pretty raw shape needing to be trimmed and ironed. 

I have two lots coming from, one being mystery fabric ($53.55 total) and the other a lot of needlework kits ($37.56 total).

There is one kit in that needlework lot I will keep and the rest will go up for sale. I will more than make my money back on that group. 

Since my two purchases from a new auction site have gone well, one a Girl Scout lot and the other the orphan blocks above, I will place more items on watch for possible bid. This auction site caused me to question because there is no way to contact the host site but so far so good. 
This year I have been able to pick the plums before the birds and deer get to them. I was able to purchase some mason jars at thrift for 49 cents each. I may have to go back for more. I bought all of the Atlas jars and ones with embossed fruit. 
Included in this thrift shop haul (costing me less than $1.50, because I used a $10 store credit) was the Church Supper Cookbook and buttons. 
Fun find of the day - this vintage Star Wars graphic t-shirt (with official Star Wars tag). The coup de grace move was this listing that pushed my total to 425 and a total value listed at $5,000.
All the sewing patterns are now listed. Achieved my goal beyond my own expectation. Each new round of listing triggers a new round of organizing the product room. The patterns reside in a produce box and my wooden box holds the needlework kits. 
What has sold? Books. Two cookbooks and a collectible Bob Dylan first edition. I can rest on my laurels now with the fixed price promo at end. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Three Keenes and Mason Jars

Found the day before my birthday, these three Keene big-eye girl plates joined my collection. I already had the 3-plate hanger from thrift. Not an original oil on canvas, this is the closest I will get to owning a Keene. 
Carole at From My Carolina Home posted a comprehensive post about having-fun-with-mason-jars. Her post prompted me to take a second look at my canning and lidded jars. This is the extent of the embossed ones with raised fruit, a small jam jar and one that holds buttons. 

I have quite a few Kerr and Ball canning jars. I hope to make good use of them, if the deer don't decimate my tomato plants. 

Reseller's update: As I suspected, the gospel CDs are selling. I have 22 more CDs to list on my next round. A Scooby-Doo tie and a vintage sewing book also sold. Listing goal for the end of this month to reach the milestone of 450. The bulk of my listings are CDs and sewing patterns. 

Fun and only find of the day - this 1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook. At first, I thought perfect for resell but then decided it would join my collection. It contains delights like the recipe below.

I found this sewing pattern recently. It will be a forever keeper, this 1969 Simplicity. What I love about these graphics is it captures that time period, not only in apparel but also in hair styles. 
I am going through the last of my home-sourced sewing patterns I have gathered over the years to decide what to list for sale. I have two more tubs, hoping to narrow it down to just one tub to keep. I am beyond delighted that my reselling business is successful!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Happy Birthday to Me

It's my birthday! The birthday image below is from June 1968, celebrating my 10th birthday. I am on the far left wearing the cat-eye glasses.  
Earlier in the month, I found this partially finished hydrangea needlepoint ($2 bagged) and discovered it was the companion in a series of another needlepoint I have in progress (the magnolias). I will finish both and frame separately but with matching mats. 
A favorite cake from childhood is the Red Velvet Cake. Mom would make it for me each year. I have posted below Mom's version and the Waldorf Astoria version.

Reseller's update: CDs, cassettes and sewing patterns continue to sell. I did my first round of promotional discounts on all of my needlework items and one has sold so far.

I have ripped nearly 700 album recordings to my laptop (yes, I have backed it up). The older compilations sell, the best of, best hits collections. While I work remotely I listen to my music on shuffle.

Here is a trend I am betting on - gospel CDs. For those who love gospel music but can no longer attend church, at least for the time being. 

What is NOT moving for online listings? Barbie doll clothes grouped in lots by color, used boy's clothing, and costume patterns. A quick guess on the latter, if there are no Halloween celebrations, why make a costume?

Segueing to college news - I am officially an official Art History major. I got both of the classes that I wanted for the fall semester. That I am 61, so what! Do you know what the rate of passing is for each college class? My experience is that 50% complete the class. In mathematics classes, the rate is even worse. I would estimate a 40% rate of passing there. I encourage everyone at any age to take college classes. Who knows, maybe I will make it to Sacramento State. 

Ending the post with a goofy deer image, chock full of plums, she seems quite happy. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Altered Sacramento

I ventured into Sacramento to accomplish a few work tasks I couldn't perform remotely. 

It is heartbreaking. I love that city. The damage to the businesses by the riots and looters is much, much worse than has been reported. It looks like a ghetto with block after block of boarded-up windows. This image is from the Mansion Flats area. 
When I go in town next, I will take my camera. 

With all of the State workers in absentia, the very life has been sucked out of the city. The only good thing - no traffic. 

I didn't expect it to affect me like it did. I left work early because I broke down and cried. I cried over so many things, missing my co-workers, the frustration over the pandemic, the senseless loss of the business owners, the uncertainty of whether there will be a return to on site work. 

I am having a tough time accepting the enormity of all of this.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Commando Gardening and Baking on the Barbeque

Each year I try new methods to deter the deer. The one pictured below is directly under a plum tree dropping ripe fruit. 
I plant less and less out in the great wide open for these critters and their daily buffet. This is Year Three, I believe, of a hopeful grape crop from vines now matured. I wrapped the vines in chicken wire last fall and added more chicken wire wrapping for more protection. 

My experiment of combining the two vines with a bamboo arch was a Fail. When the deer would grab the vines to eat, the bamboo would break. Chicken wire mummy wrapping seems to be successful for the time being. You can see the year's prior attempts at deer deterrents with cattle fencing (they crawl under it) and barbed wire up to 8 feet tall (they jump over it). 

Much to my surprise, I discovered a surviving rose bush. I planted three of them last spring and by summer they had been deer munched into oblivion. You can barely see it behind the chicken wire and tomato cage, but it's there!
Our summers extend into stretches of 100 degree weather. That doesn't allow for much baking inside, so I have learned to bake on the grill. 

I harvested my first home grown rhubarb. I made an attempt last year but where I planted it was too hot and it died. I bought a new plant this spring and put it in a large movable planter so it could be moved into the shade. 

Here is the recipe, torn from a 2008 Parade magazine. 

Dinner included a fresh salad, with the rhubarb crisp (pre-grill baking on the left, post grill baking on the right), a whole chicken and corn on the cob all cooked on the barbeque. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

And then there are the scammers

The majority of my buyers are decent, wonderful people and the transaction goes well, and then there are the scammers. They must lay awake at night thinking evil thoughts like the Grinch. 

More than once, a buyer has wanted to communicate outside of eBay wanting me to text or call them. I never do. Eventually, the sale goes unpaid and I have put it through the Resolution Center. The buyer wants to perform some action outside of eBay, pay for the item a different way, who knows. 

This latest one takes the cake - or meatloaf as it were. Buyer had a question about a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook, whether it  contained a certain recipe. I communicate to buyer that the recipe is in another later edition of that cookbook, which I also have for sale. I send an image of the recipe, stupidly sent the image of the ENTIRE recipe. I never heard from buyer again.  

One I had been holding off on posting, because she seemed like such a nice person. This scenario person claimed to be a long-time reader of my blog. She wanted to send me some sewing patterns that she couldn't use. We did not agree on any kind of price. I gave her my local post office address. Person emailed me that the cost of sending the patterns would be in excess of $35!?! Weird, sounds a bit much and I didn't know how many patterns she intended on sending me. Anyhoo, ended up the "box" was in her hometown in the destruction center. Odd. I had sent her some vintage linens (at her request) in exchange. 
Update to post - my reader did comment below so I will chalk it up to a misunderstanding in the hopes she will remain a follower of my blog. 

I find it a sad commentary on humanity. I don't want to cheat anyone out of anything, I just want to sell stuff that other people want. I make a few dollars, you get that item you need that I have found. We are both happy. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

No snappy title

Drawing a blank for a post title, so unusual for me.
Longtime readers know I get a kick out of buying bagged thrifted fabric. This latest $2.99 bag included this sugar skull print I find somewhat disturbing. 
Reseller's update: Recent solds include CDs and a vintage Joy of Cooking publication. 

Fun find of the day - this vintage 1975 Holly Hobbie cake pan (99 cents at thrift). 
Bought this little guy 18" skateboard for $3.50 and listed it for $27. A product outside of my wheelhouse.
I have an upcoming in-person interview for a promotional position with my former department at the State which means I will be heading in to Altered Sacramento. I know the boarded up businesses will be hard for me to see. 

In many ways the first half of this year have been difficult for many, many people. I was able to seize the opportunity of time to list a backlog of items for sale. I am more than halfway to my financial goal of eliminating my debt. I am back in college. Things are coming my way that I have waited for a long time. 

Covid stuff: My mom's living assisted facility now has 14 residents and 5 staff infected. All in another wing, but still, terrifying. 

My birthday is next Thursday, I will need to create a fun post to celebrate that day. 

Rural update: The Mr. had to shoot a rattlesnake in the front yard. I've never heard one rattle so much so it sounded like a buzz saw. We are more likely to get visitors like this one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Turner-esqe print and why are people so angry?

This thrift shop print came home with me. I like the vibrancy of color and looks kind of Turner-esque. I even like the frame, understated and quietly beautiful. Photographed at an angle because the print is under glass.  
It needed its hanging wire replaced and that was an easy fix. It hangs in my spare bathroom with my gypsy-hanging-curtain.

Reseller's update
What has sold? Needlework kits and as I suspected would sell, the 8 DVD collection of Woody Allen movies. 

I have hit my 400 listings goal on eBay. This round was all of the recently-purchased product. Photographed, checked to ensure the right CD was in the right case and all pieces went with the antelope. I was going to list my treasure chest ceramic bank but now I keep it around to stay focused on my financial goals. 
That stack doesn't include the 18 Christmas CDs I have yet to put through the Tami Process and a Totally Extreme mini skateboard.
  Covid-related stuff:
Now whenever the Mr. and I travel to larger cities nearby for supplies, we encounter numerous angry people. They are angry they have to wear masks. They are angry they have to stand in line. They are angry they have to drive the store. The Mr. contends with quite a few medical conditions and cannot walk quickly. We were in a major retailer's parking lot and a woman in an SUV nearly ran him over, came within inches. 

This is happening every weekend. By the time we get home, I am wrung out. What is going on with our collective soul as people? Is anyone else out there experiencing this oddness? Like everyone has gone a tad bit crazy? 

College update: With a week left to go until I register for classes, it looks like I might get the ones I want. My daughter also wants to take one of her pre-requisites and has a couple in her shopping cart. Here's hoping we will get the ones we want. 

Quilting update: I've got the backing and binding prepared for the Pieces of the Past quilt. Now to marked quilting lines, oh, I had to do a little bit of Frankenbatting on this one. I had leftover binding from my State Fair quilt so I added some periwinkle to the mix. It is going to look so gorgeous! I will debut the final Pieces of the Past quilt on my Virtual State Fair post next month. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Bought my first bolt, got my first buck

My first bolt of fabric, 9+ yards for $6 at thrift! How can I be so fortunate? 
Got my first buck - actually described as an Faux Fauna Avante-Garde Antelope. This might be a keeper. 

My patterns for sale fit perfectly in my crate. I want to find more of these. 
I have found a new online auction site! So excited to have purchased these two lots recently, $11.50 for the Girl Scout lot and $20.05 for the quilt pieces/blocks. 
I have found the Mother Lode of Things That I Like, quilts and quilt blocks, needlework kits, Girl Scout items, craft items and oil paintings. Still relatively undiscovered by other resellers, prices are amazingly low. Nope, I am not going to share the link. 

I am returning to work one day a week. After resorting to begging and pleading, I was given that allowance. I need the two monitors  and the ergonomic work station. There are just certain tasks I can't do remotely.  I won't go in if there is social unrest in the city though. 

Fun find of the week, Writings and Drawings of Bob Dylan, First Edition, 1973.

A replacement KitchenAid for $49.99, a long time in the finding. This one I dragged off the bottom the wire rack of product just placed on the floor. Not only did this one include all of its attachments but also came with the original manual. 
I tested it by making zucchini bread. I'll share the recipe on my Virtual State Fair post scheduled for July.  

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Pieces of the Past Quilt

This quilt truly is comprised of tiny fabric pieces of the past. Both Wanda at (an esteemed online friend) and I place the border fabric as a late 1950s-1960s print. 

I bought the bag of remnants at a hospice thrift re-opening. I was in a few minutes past the opening time and headed straight for the craft section. I usually pass by the bagged small pieces of fabric but this group caught my eye. The smallest pieces of fabric I combined in crazy quilt fashion for the cornerstones. I saw this technique in a lot of fabric I purchased a few years ago. Mystery quilter had combined pink remnants, I included those pieces in more than one of my quilts. 
In the four patches, the fabric cut with pinking shears, originally measured 2.75" and I trimmed them down to 2.5" inches. Only one small remnant of each print, like a snapshot in time. Fabric is such a wonderful medium to work with because it rarely degrades over time if preserved correctly. By preserving correctly I mean these scraps have been squirreled away in some closet or drawer or basket for a long period of time. 

It occurred to me the construction of the cornerstone was a lot easier than the first time I attempted those accent pieces. Border fabric is sewn to the top of the block, then the cornerstone is sewn to the left side border. You repeat the process until all of the blocks are sewn together, then you add the final border and cornerstones to the far right side of the quilt. 

The following are images of each of the 4 patches and close-ups of the cornerstones. 

I haven't decided yet whether to keep this as a mini quilt or save it for main section of a bed-sized quilt. Update: I am going to quilt it as a mini. 

Linking up with wendysquiltsandmore.

Resellers update: eBay continues to offer 15K free listings to the end of July to store subscribers. After restocking my product, I am ready to tackle the next round that will put me over 400 listings. I also made the leap from Starter Store ($15 a mo.) to Basic Store ($22 a mo. billed at the yearly rate). That subscription also gives me access to Terapeak which compares solds on eBay. 

What has sold? Those Girl Scout and 4H items - sold and quickly. If you see either in thrift, along with Boy Scout stuff, buy it for resell. I won on bid a lot of G.S. items on an online auction I am awaiting arrival in the mail. 

Clothing/craft patterns are selling. CD and cassettes continue to sell. I have to throw away about half of the cassettes because the tape has aged and drags. At 6 for $1, it is worth my time. 

In my "death pile" to be listed, five craft books, 1 needlework kit, 10 cassettes (still testing them), 12 Christmas CDs and another 50 regular CDs. 

On the subject of patterns, this Pattern of the Day is a McCall's 2781 from 1971. Sometimes I find other items in the pattern packets and this one contained a handwritten note and a sketch of the dress. 

When I find sewing baskets at thrift, there have been pictures, notes, and assorted tchotchkes. It is a part of thrifting that enjoy, when I catch a glimmer of the previous owner.